Monday, December 20, 2010

xmas pic and a question: PIO or supps?


So, I can't let a single post go without mentioning infertility, so lets get that part out of the way. Which did you do, PIO or Suppositories? Which was successful for you? Do you feel strongly about either? My story is that I did suppositories first. Then I got pregnant with what now is known as the ectopic. Well, my beta was low (18) but so was my P4, so we had a mad-dash to several pharmacies locally to get me on the PIO ASAP, because that 18 may have resulted in a baby, we didn't know any better, right? Since then, I've been scared of anything but the PIO...however, I did try another suppository several cycles later. The dreaded Crinone. Now, if you think that sticking a 1.5 inch needle in your butt daily is bad, try shoving something up your who-ha that seems to separate and feel like you are literally walking around packed with packing peanuts and styrofoam. Seriously, I remember sitting in a warm bath (I DO NOT advise this, it seems to make the styrofoam grow!) and crying about this and then dying for beta day so I can stop doing it. Then I again went to progesterone suppositories with my first CCRM cycle, at which point, a day or two after ER, I ended up at the office for a horrible yeast infection and ended up on the PIO again, so I gave up and did the PIO for the next (successful) cycle. So, I am leaning towards the PIO. However, my nurse keeps saying that there is a new suppository out there that is less irritating and that she can't see why I'd prefer the daily giant needle in the butt....what do you guys think? I usually have DH give it to me and, yes, I hate it...but it works. Only once did I have to give it to myself and after much agony, it wasn't so bad. Really. But, I wouldn't mind the suppository if I felt that I'd get enough supplementation. What are your thoughts?

I do have a long post coming up. Needless to say, the holidays are always an issue in our family and, so far, I've been uninvited to Christmas Eve dinner at my mom's though she still plans to be at my house on Christmas Day as if nothing had happened...Ugh. At least, I hope she doesn't end up ruining our first wonderful Christmas with our daughter. But, as we all know, she couldn't REALLY ruin it...because I have this incredible, funny, beautiful daughter that brings so much joy to her mommy and daddy, regardless of what anyone else says or does...
Anyway, some pics...






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

IVF on TV

Have you guys seen the amount of TV couples making public their issues with infertility??? Its about time people! I think it is a sideline to the fact that so many couples are now famous because of reality TV that they show one part of their life, say they are going to get pregnant on TV and then oooops, they are stuck explaining to a stunned audience that sometimes women in their 30's can't get pregnant easily. For example, has anyone seen Giuliana and Bill on Style? They are showing their TTC journey including IUI, IVF, and a miscarriage from her first IVF. I'm to the point where I want to email her to give her some of the information that the rest of us have researched for the last who-knows-how-many-years! I hope she found the internet and the fertiltiy boards! Then, another blogger commented on a TLC show, The Little Couple and how after several attempts at an egg retrieval to transfer embryos into a gestational carrier, Jen is being confronted with the fact that in her mid-to-late thirties (I think she is 36 or 37) she doesn't make a lot of eggs...I heard she had 2 follicles, I think. I missed the episode.

I will say this, I am surprised that women in their mid to late thirties expect to get pregnant easily as is suggested by these shows. I guess I always thought that once I hit that dreaded 35 I was in trouble...and I never wanted kids early. I was thinking 30 or 32...but had my first at 35. Maybe I knew something bodily that I didn't really know? who knows? But, is our culture giving the impression that it is easy for women in their late thirties to get pregnant? I know it happens, but it seems that more times than not, it is way more difficult. Even doctors point out that if you are under 35 and TTC, go see a doctor if, after a year, you don't get pregnant. If you are 35+, give it 6 months. They assume you have an issue....

Anyway, has anyone else seen these shows? what do you think?

Sorry this post is a mess, I just edited it and it barely makes sense to me...but, I was in a rush:-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Busy

I've been busy. I've been able to read and sometimes respond to other bloggers but, for the most part, I've been overwhelmed! I'm not sure exactly why...the holidays...a very active 9 month old...great news that allows me to fully enjoy the holidays this year (those 4 normals!). So, overall, nothing to complain about so I haven't blogged (that's sad, right?).

Here is a recent pic of Teagan when the poor thing fell asleep on daddy and he had a field day with her hair...





Anyway, I just thought I'd post a few pictures. We had a great Thanksgiving with family. Everyone mostly behaved themselves and we all got along, ate a lot of food, laughed at the kids, watched football and were incredibly thankful for all of the amazing things in our lives. So, here are a few pictures of Thanksgiving...





Christmas pics will follow. We took Teagan to have some pictures taken and she wasn't the smilingest kid ever. I think there was too much to look at and all new things and new people, etc. But some of the pictures came out good. Then we were at the mall anyway and it was Monday night so we decided, since the mall was totally empty, we'd try to get her a pic with Santa. Well, that was NOT successful. She was terrified of him. She'd look at him then look at me and meltdown then look back at him, all innocent, look at me and meltdown. So, needless to say, the picture is of Santa, me and T. Lol.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Results are in...

Let me start by saying that I was okay...staying busy and ignoring the fact that I was waiting for results...until last night. Then I got stressed. I mean, out of 15 embryos, only 3 made it? And, on day 6? And at best they are a 3bb and 2 2/3's???? But the news is in....out of 4 embryos tested, all 4 are normal! I can't believe it. I woke up this morning stressing that my RE (who is incredibly nice) was going to have to call me with bad news and how he must hate that part of his job...and then I get a beautiful message that I have 4 normal embies!!!!

Now, I can enjoy the holidays and shoot for a February FET!!!! Go me!!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The little blast that could.

I'm seriously having problems with the lab this cycle. But, that aside, I called the lab yesterday and left them a message asking about my little 2/3 embryo from last cycle and whether or not it thawed nicely and was able to be retested. It was! It is now a retested and refrozen pretty little 4BB. Yay! So, that makes 4, just like last time...hopefully we get 1 or 2 normals and we can have that sibling!

I also asked the embryologist if the retested embryos do well. He said usually if they thaw nicely one time, they thaw again nicely the second time. He also said that they don't really have statistics on how they implant but, so far, they seem to be implanting pretty well, from the few people who have had only retested embryos transferred (b/c otherwise, you transfer a retest and a regular and if you get preggo with one you never know which one took). So, there you go. That's good. However, I also wanted to know at what stage my 12 other embies arrested. Get this, the 3 that were tested were the only three that made it to 8 cells on day 3. The others almost all arrested prior to morula stage and were either 4 or 6 cell embies on day 3. Eeeeek. Its honestly kind of shocking. I guess its a good thing I got this cycle in when we did. Again, hopefully we get a normal or two, right? That is all we need. I was really just being greedy.

On the beautiful baby front: My little one is a holy terror and is running the household into the ground. She is happy again now that she can move herself around and is literally chasing the dogs around and stealing their toys. We keep an eye on all of this baby/puppy action but they immediately let her have the toy and then look at her longingly until she is done with it. Its pretty cute. She is starting to laugh at everything and is doing a weird little cough-talk...it sounds like a cough but its just a noise she makes and she expects you to make it back to her, at which point she smiles and does it again....ahhh the start of communication. Of course there is also the ongoing mamamamamamam.......dadadadadadada too, which is sweet. I'm loving this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not the greatest news

Well, we did get some to test...though not many. We have 3 day 6 embryos and all three are average quality, 3BB. They are thawing and rebiopsying one from last cycle today. That means we have 3 or 4 going for testing. I am kind of bummed, though thankful that we have any for testing. I guess my eggs are really pretty poor quality, huh? Even with my good FSH, AMH, and the fact that I easily stimulate, I didn't get the best results. Its funny, I went into this very neutral but then started getting excited with the number we got, and the decent fert report and the fact that we had so many embryos to grow out....then I get a little crushed when so few get to a good quality blast stage. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No news tonight.

So, it was getting late here so I left a message for FLC to see how my day 6 embies did. I got no response. It was approaching 7:45 (5:45 Colorado time) here and finally, I got a call from my nurse (?!). I freaked out...she told me to relax, that it wasn't bad news but the lab had one more thing to do before they called me with the results. She said that they like to call only with a final report and they have one more thing to do. I told her that I was super-good about not bugging them on day 3-6 and that couldn't they at least tell me if I had ANY embryos go out at all? She said "but they all go out at once, so none have gone yet, but when I talked to them, they definitely didn't suggest that this was a bad thing." Ugh. I asked her again for any info at all and she said she'd try to catch the woman she spoke to earlier to see if she could get any info...she put me on hold...and came back to say that there was no answer, but that I shouldn't worry, I'd get a call tomorrow. She finally said that she'd try to reach the lab person again and if she was able to tonight, I might still get a call but that she didn't think it was likely. Here is the thing...I love my nurse. She has never steered me wrong or done anything to make me doubt her or even get frustrated with her. I believe her. But, wouldn't this make you worry? I mean, what could they be doing with my embies now anyway? I mean, they are past day 6 at this point, so will be discarded and there is nothing that can be done to them, right?

My only hope is that they got one or two yesterday and one or two today and then forgot that I asked them to thaw and rebiopsy the one from last cycle so are doing that and since it isn't done, it isn't a "final report" so they didn't bother calling. This is me grasping at straws and getting desperate...really, I'm kind of upset and nervous that I did all of this for nothing. I know I said I'd be totally relaxed about this and I mostly succeeded until late this afternoon....but the lack of update and then this phone call just has me concluding that none of my embryos made it...but then, how can you get 15 fertilize and none make it to blast? does that happen? I hate this. I truly almost forgot what this was like...I HATE IT.

I'll update when I can...but I don't have much hope.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Humor.



Yup, those are my poor puppies...oh, what we do to them! They were going once a week to a local day care ever since we had Teagan, just to get some energy out (boxer owners, I'm sure you know what I mean). Well, they did this at the daycare before Halloween and sent it to us a week or so ago. Too funny.

Still waiting. 2 years ago with the cycle in which I got pregnant with Teagan, we got a call on day 1 after egg retrieval to give the fert report. Then we got a call on day 3 to give a progress report. Then on day 5 they called to tell you how many (if any) were advanced enough to biopsy that day (and estimate if they thought any would make it the next day). Then, finally, on day 6, you got the official last word report. This year- one call on day 1 after retrieval and then nothing until day 6. Its a good thing I am much calmer this time, right? can you imagine? So, tomorrow is day 6. I am taking it as a good sign (grasping at straws?) that they didn't call me today to tell me that all of my embryos arrested prior to day 5...but that is as high as I am getting my hopes. I hope hope hope I get a good report tomorrow. Yes, this is MUCH easier this time around. But, we still did a lot and made A LOT of sacrifices to make this happen (no more hair appointments, no shopping (and I am a girl who thinks Levi's are designer jeans, okay?), a serious (almost ridiculous) food budget that has us eating beans and rice a lot, I stopped breastfeeding early, Brett took days off from work...I could go on) and it would be nice to have a good result. Ugh. Waiting.

I am feeling okay. It seems that the meds prevented OHSS. So, I am hitting the gym tomorrow. I've been taking it easy since I know my ovaries are still very large and it is dangerous to do too much...not to mention, I am still bloated and having serious digestive issues b/c I don't think there is room down there for movement, if you get my meaning...but at the same time, exercise is a great stress reliever for me and I feel good and I want to keep busy...so I'm going to head out tomorrow. I'll update when I can.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crawler (not the french donut)



Teagan started crawling in the hotel room in Colorado. It started when we were at the Embassy Suites on Tuesday, then we switched (that day) to the Staybridge where the coffee table made an amazing little crawl tunnel and she was off. Here's a short video:


video



Then, of course, was Halloween. Now, I have to explain the costume. My mother is Polish and, though she speaks wonderful English, is also a teeny bit passive aggressive. Well, before I gave birth, we told her we were naming our daughter Teagan. She made a face. Several days later, she came over and said, "Are you sure you want to name her that? Won't the other kids make fun of her?" I said, "for what?" Her response: "Well, for being named after a Winnie the Pooh character.". She thought we were naming her Tigger. So, Teagan's nickname was born...and so, to be passive aggressive in return, we found a cute Tigger costume for her....



Besides that, not much to report. CCRM doesn't call on day 3 anymore to give an update on your embryos so I still wait until Wednesday. I'm pretending that nothing is happening, for my own sanity. Staying busy, etc. I'm also exhausted because our little one seems to finally be getting her 2 bottom teeth so we got no sleep at all last night. This morning, we see two little bumps in the bottom front, so I'm guessing it is any day now...poor little thing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fert report

I got the call yesterday while traveling...17 eggs were ICSI'd and 15 fertilized normally. So, now the wait is on. This seems like a good fert report, though it hurts to go from 22 to 15, I do realize it is really going from 17 to 15, which isn't nearly as painful. I'm nervous about the next 5 days but I'm not going to freak out like last time, I realize that I am already lucky...but, man, is that hormone crash sucky!

I have some pics to post and a video...funny that Teagan started officially crawling while away in Colorado and staying at a hotel room:-) She is the cutest thing. We are off to BRU to baby proof the house today!!!

Oh, and the OHSS seems to be doing good. It looks like that medicine that they gave me is doing the trick. I am achy and very bloated but nothing major to report at all. (they gave me cabergoline tablets?).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ER done and now I relax...!

Things went well...for my third ER at CCRM I again had Dr. M for retrieval! Weird, huh? Anyway, she was nice, the nurses were great and I got 22 eggs retrieved, which is great, but doesn't mean all that much if they don't make it to blast, so we'll see. I'l find out maturity and get a fert report tomorrow and then no information untild day 6 (eeek). In the meantime, I am dying to get home!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

trigger and hyperstim???

So we are set to trigger tonight at midnight. However, my nurse called this afternoon for us to come back and pick up some meds that the doctor would like me to start tonight to hopefully try to prevent hyperstimulation. Um, what? I have 18 good sized follies and in the past I've gotten 20 -21 eggs with each cycle just fine, so I thought I was doing okay...but it turns out that my estrogen almost doubled between yesterday and today and that is really what they worry about with hyperstimming. So, I start a new pill tonight at bedtime...has anyone else ever taken something to prevent hyperstimulation? was it a nightly pill? what did you think? I've never heard of this before but I'm pretty glad that they are being proactive, because I've always been afraid of hyperstimulating and now that it was the last thing on my mind and I had no concerns, there it is to scare me just a little! But, I am with great doctors and we are set to go! Egg Retrieval is set for Thursday at 11 am:-)

On another (and more fun...) note, my baby girl is crawling!! She's been doing a little bunny hop thing where she moves her hands forward and then hops both back feet forward, which was really cute, but really seemed to frustrate her. Well, as of today, she is moving forward with some speed at a nice crawl. Its so cute and she is pretty excited about it. Watch out, right? It is definitely time to baby-proof the house this weekend!!!

I'll try to update on Thursday or this weekend at the latest! Thanks for all the great comments and support!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Colorado

Here is a short update....we made it to Colorado!! the flight went surprisingly well. Teagan slept though take off and landing and was sweet and snuggly and smiley for the rest of the flight. After our layover, she was up for takeoff and landing but slept through the rest of the flight. It was a nice surprise.

So...onto the updates. I have 18 follies of good size and a few more that are slightly smaller. It looks like things are going according to schedule and growing nicely. My meds have been reduced from 150 gonal f a night to 75 gonal f and we are planning retrieval for Thursday. I have another appoinment in the morning to see how things are going, so I guess there is a chance I may trigger tomorrow but it is looking like Tuesday night for Thurs ER.

I am dying to get this over with and start to relax again. I want coffee and wine and I want to exercise to my heart's content. I want to enjoy the holidays with family and friends and not think much about this again until transfer time arrives...in the meantime, I am praying that we have something to transfer because even though it looks like a lot of eggs, we got a lot last time and only sent 4 out for testing, so you never know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Super short post



Okay, maybe she doesn't like the bear suit? Our house was cold last night so when DH changed her diaper, he decided to put her in her little warm bear suit (it was just for the hour before her bath time)...and we got this pic:-) Kidding, she liked the suit but what she didn't like was that I wasn't holding her hands and walking her around the room. This is Teagan's "frustrated" face. She makes it a million times a day when we put her on the floor and expect her to either play or work at crawling. If mommy isn't around, she'll play or work on crawling. However, if mommy is around, this is what you get...and basically, it means that she is mad at me for not walking her around the room. This kid wants to walk...not crawl (which she successfully did for 3 crawl steps last week but has not repeated). But, she's cute, right?

On the cycle front, I got AF on Friday, checked on Saturday, started stims on Sunday. I am doing 4 shots a day in my poor little (but larger than it used to be) belly. Ugh. But, we are trucking along. I have a follie check tomorrow and then we fly out on Thursday. Since it was delayed, I am very happy to say that Brett can travel with us (woo hoo!). I was terrified of taking Teagan on the flight alone since she is an incredibly active and curious child. I just didn't know how I would contain her alone...so now there will be 2 of us to do it. Luckily, she is usually pretty happy...so I have hope that things will go well, so long as I can keep her occupied!

I will update when I can:-) Wish us luck!

Oh...can I just add...Did anyone see the story this morning that Octomom's doctor "implanted" 12 embryos? First of all, the obvious thing - he put 12 embryos in? seriously? Okay, now I do have a problem with this guy....but most of all....why do all of the shows use this terminology? That embryos were "implanted"...they weren't. I seriously get so annoyed I have to turn the TV off when I hear this. And, why don't the doctors they are interviewing ever correct this terminology? If they implanted 12 embryos into octomom then she had at least 4 miscarry...No, they "transferred" 12 and 8 "implanted". It just gets me so mad because it seems to suggest that there is no risk with IVF, they implant them and you have a baby. Embryos implant themselves or they don't. Ugh. Maybe it is just a weird sensitivity on my part or maybe I am too literal but does this annoy you too?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Responses and Babysitting

Thank you so much for your responses to my last post. I was actually wondering if I was in the minority or majority there and it looks like there are a lot of others like me. I think the IVF experience is different for everyone, our bodies are different, our experiences are different, etc. I think the biggest concern for me this time is taking Teagan on a flight to Denver, lol. That is what I am losing sleep over. Let me explain: My little girl is no shrinking violet, no wall flower, no....noone puts baby in the corner! She is constantly active, constantly moving and trying to grab things, walk, talk...we went to sushi last night with my sister in law, brother in law, and their baby girl. For the last hour or so, Teagan would yell at the top of her lungs, not because she was unhappy, but because she wanted to make that noise. She'd smile, and let it out, then look around. There was no distracting her, no shutting her up with food, nothing. I hope that doesn't happen on the plane.



About babysitting. I've noticed lately that we don't go anywhere and we are absolutely fine with that, however, everyone else seems to be worried. I've had comments from friends and family offering their babysitting services so that we can go to the movies, or have a "date night". I've had people say, "when was the last time you guys got out alone?" and then look wide eyed and somewhat frightened when we say we don't usually do that (we did it for 2 nights while the state fair was in town so that we could go to a concert and that is it since she was born). All I want to say to these people, is please don't feel sorry for us! If we are feeling overwhelmed, we will definitely seek help, I promise. For now, we are really just enjoying it. We love being together as a family. We are doing the same exact thing we did before she was born, but now we have her. I don't know how to explain it. The end result is that we enjoy the family, Teagan goes to bed at 7 and mommy and daddy have date night every night:-) Does that sound crazy? Probably not to the rest of you IFers...but to those who easily had a baby or don't have any babies or their babies are grown up? I think it must sound crazy because of the looks we get. I mean, we went through YEARS of infertility treatments where we were home alot because of the meds, or because we were poor as a result of IF treatments, or we were just depressed. Now, we are home doing stuff around the house and playing with our baby and then sitting on the couch together, cuddling each other and the dogs while we listen to the baby monitor, what could be better?

We now have wonderful family nearby. Brett's sister and her husband and 10 week old are just 25 minutes away, my mom is within walking distance, a next door neighbor whose amazing 21 year old daughter has offered to babysit and loves our little one, and Brett's mom is far away but willing to travel to take care of our little monkey...all of these people are amazing, but we just (at the moment) have no need. I mean, we are happy and don't really want to go anywhere (not that we could afford to anyway, lol, we are on a SERIOUS budget for this IVF). I'm not sure if we are crazy and should take everyone up on this or if it is okay...but there it is, right? I doubt we'll regret it:-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let the games begin...and what is your IVF experience?

I started lupron last night. Its a late start since I was technically supposed to start last Wednesday, but I went in for my P4 check and I must have just ovulated (very late for me) so we had to give it a few more days. It seems that my usual 26 day (like clockwork) cycle, with ovulation on day 13, has been drastically altered by pregnancy and probably breastfeeding. So my cycles seem to be around 31 days lately, so no big surprise there.



Let me say that I was surprised how reluctant I was to do that shot! I guess for a few years it just became routine and, when I was considering doing this again, it felt routine, until I actually got the meds out and sat down to do them and then all of a sudden, I was like "what are we doing?". Of course, it didn't help that the bill from CCRM came in yesterday and we had to think about all that money we got on loan from our credit card companies going bye bye in one big charge. Scary. Anyway, close your eyes and jump, right? so, here we go...


But, it got me thinking...I didn't think the physical aspect of IVF was all that awful. I got a little cranky, a little bloated, then I had that delightful sedated sleep during egg retrieval and woke up hearing a good number of eggs retrieved and then off for pancakes and a nap at home. Honestly. I can't say that, in my experience, physically, IVF is all that challenging. For me, its always been the emotional side that is so hard (and this time, I expect this part to be a whole lot less stressful). I still recall telling a yoga student of mine (who got pregnant from her first IVF) that I was on IVF #5...she was shocked and said it was so physically difficult for her to take that there is NO WAY she would do it more than once. So, I was happy it worked for her, lol, b/c I didn't have that option...but, on that note, this made it clear to me that everyone's experience is different. What was your IVF experience like? Did you think it was horribly physically trying? I'm just kind of curious. I have no reason for saying that the physical side was easy for me...because I have nothing to compare it to, I guess. I mean, recovering from ER is nothing...and I definitely won't say the same thing about recovering from a laparoscopy, which I found painful. But, on that note, I didn't think recovering from childbirth was horrible...I was shocked that it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected (which makes me think that it probably is just my expectations that are skewed...if you think it will be AWFUL and it is just bad, then it was easier than you thought, right?). Anyway....tell me your experiences!



Besides the IF front, Teagan's been sick for the longest time. She had a cold when I went to CO for my ODWU, she got better from that on Wednesday and then Saturday woke up at night with a horrible cough, wheezing, etc...I called the pediatrician's emergency line and we worked through it for the weekend, I took her in yesterday and she has croup...with the worst of it being over (must have been that saturday night when she ended up sleeping in our bed, with the humidifier going, waking every hour and both me and Brett only getting about 2 hours of sleep). We had family move nearby on Saturday so visited with Brett's sis, her husband, and my mother in law. It was great...though I hope their 10 week old baby doesn't get croup from Teagan, since they spent all day Saturday together when we were totally unaware that Teagan was on her way to getting really sick.





So, that's it for this update. Please post your experiences. I'm not looking forward to this cycle, but I am. I love that this will be my last one. I love that I had 30 antral follicles! I love that we might get Teagan a sibling out of this (the hope of a cycle always got to me no matter how negative I was). But, I am not looking foward to the flights with my baby girl, who is extremely active. Ugh.

Here is a pic taken in July when we had some family pictures taken with the new cousins...




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crankiness, the cycle update and canned tomatoes

I think our baby girl is teething finally. At least, I hope so...or I hope its a phase she's going through or something because someone is CRANKY!!!! I left last Monday for my one day workup in CO, cried my eyes out that I was leaving while Brett and Teagan looked perfectly fine with the situation (happy someone could keep it together) and I was off. At which point, Teagan started sneezing, sniffling and coughing for poor daddy. So, the moment I left, she got a cold. But, no worries, daddy did great, propping up the crib, sucking little snots out with the bulby thing they give you at the hospital, using nasal saline and even finding baby vicks at the drugstore. Teagan was in good hands. I, on the other hand, was a wreck. First, I slept about 4 hours Sunday night because I was so nervous to leave. Then I took a late flight on Monday and didn't get into CO until 12:30, was asleep by 1:30 (3:30 our time) and had to be up at 6 and out to the clinic by 7:15...full day of tests and blood work (they were awesome by the way, and rushed me through the things that I really didn't need to spend time on and shortening up my schedule for me) and then I took a 5:10 flight from there, got delayed in Chicago and didn't get home until 2:30...so I got very little sleep for three days and was a walking zombie on Wednesday. However, here is the good news....


My numbers are great this time! My FSH was 7.2, my E2 was 31. AMH was 1.6 and I had (get this) 30 antral follicles. 30!!!!! I go in for my consult with my RE and say, "did I have, like, 25 follices or something crazy like that?" and he goes...."30!!!!" yay! Anyway, everything looks great and I can start ASAP...which prompted a discussion about what ASAP meant and I have my suppression check and if all is good, start lupron tomorrow! How amazing is that? Honestly, its perfect b/c I want to get this over with and relax and enjoy the holidays with my family. So, my idea was that since everything looks great, my stats are better than ever, why not strike now while things look so good and get this over with? So, all of it aligned and as long as my suppression check goes well, we start tomorrow and I should be heading back out to CO with Teagan and Brett by the middle of October:-)


Besides that I don't have too much to report...but, I know a fellow blogger a while ago wrote a big post about the danger of canned tomatoes and then I freaked out about all of the BPAs in can liners (not realizing that this was the same problem at the time...) but then I found out that Muir Glen makes canned tomatoes that are in enamel-lined cans, so we can go back to some use of canned tomatoes, though they are more expensive, they are organcic and sans-BPA, so I am all for it. If you already knew this (they've been in enamel lined cans for over a year, I think), then you should have told me! If not, then enjoy:-) You can find them in the organic or healthy food aisle at the grocery store!!! Yay! Chili!


And, a pic of me and Teagan a few weeks ago at a birthday party...


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thanks for the good wishes!!

I did get AF...right when I knew she'd come. In the late afternoon on Friday...when my day 3 would fall on Sunday and everything was closed to talk to anyone. Luckily, my early panic helped me. I had already talked to my nurse at CCRM who told me that they are okay with me doing it on day 2 if I get "full flow" on day 1. So, knowing that my local RE has half days on Thursdays and is only open for a few hours (if needed) on Saturday and is completely closed on Sunday, I called Thursday and made an appointment for Saturday. I love the nurses and staff there but I also know that they hate when people come in on Saturdays and they are very reluctant to get people in...so I said I was already spotting and needed the appt and they gave me their only one left (so they said) which was for 8 am today. I did get AF at the most inconvenient time, but it made yesterday technically day 1 so today was day 2 and we were off.

The nurses were great today, they chatted with me and Brett (who also needed to get a blood test done and shipped with mine), and loved on Teagan. Brett and I were a little upset that everyone in the waiting room obviously believed we were beloved patients for whom IVF at the local clinic had finally worked. In our hearts we would have liked to tell everyone in the waiting room to run for their lives, but such is life I guess. We were a good advertisement for the local clinic today. The truth is that they are awful, the doctor is nutty, their stats are terrible, and the lab is pretty bad too, but the nurses and staff are awesome, so what could I say? I just want to put it out there again...if you are at a clinic and doing IVF after IVF with no success, please please please get a second opinion!!!!

As for me, one hurdle cleared. Now for the ODWU in Colorado. Its set for Tues the 21st. If anyone has done a successful cycle there and then gone back, can you tell me if you had to do ALL of the ODWU stuff over again. I got my schedule and it looks ridiculous with all of the stuff I have to do over....I think its a mistake but I have to wait until Monday to talk to my nurse. In the meantime, I have to hold off on getting my flights because as it stands now, I'd have to leave Monday night and get back late Tuesday. If I can cut out the stuff I've already done, I can actually leave early Tuesday morning and be back Tuesday night....much better for this mommy who is making herself do this but would MUCH RATHER stay at home with her baby.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

IF frustration again

So, I am anxiously awaiting AF. She was due on Monday and it is now Thursday. Initially, this was a good thing because I have to schedule my day 3 bloodwork as soon as I get her and I need to schedule my one day workup in Colorado too. AF being late was good because I can skip over the days that Brett needs to be in Massachusetts next week so that I can make sure that he is home to take care of Teagan while I fly my (un)happy ass to Colorado. However, I NEED to get her today. The thing is that I know she is coming. All of the symptoms are there (and, no, there is NO CHANCE that this is an "oops" so stop thinking it...but thanks) and I am never late. The thing is that the local RE does my monitoring and he is closed on Sunday (and most of Saturday too as a matter of fact). Ridiculous right? Well, if I get AF today I can try to convince them to get me in on Saturday. If I get it tomorrow, SOL. This isn't a huge crying my eyes out disaster but enough of an annoyance that I thought I'd post and bitch and moan in public about it.

So, I am starting on the infertility roller coaster again. This time is different though. We will still be rendered poor by this cycle, we will still be upset and hurt if it doesnt work. I will still be a pincushion and a bloated chicken for a week or so and I'll probably even put on a few pounds. The main difference will be that I won't be absolutely obsessed with this and hanging my entire life on this.one.chance. I have a beautiful family already. It would be nice to have more children, but I will be happy with my little family if that isn't possible. However, I know I'll still get stressed by the process and the travel and the timing of the whole thing. I just want this part of my life over with.

I know I can't really complain. I did 7 IVF cycles and finally had my beautiful miracle baby. I have a great friend who just completed her 10th cycle with an unbelievable BFN. It was flat-out shocking. Incredibly she is still dusting herself off and is plugging forward with another consult with a different doctor who has different ideas and theories. She is amazing. She has been through so much. She is close to throwing in the towel but doesn't know which way to go - she already gave up the idea of using her own eggs for the most part (last cycle she transferred 2 CGH (tested on day 3) normals - one of her own and one from a donor), she is close to giving up her dream of carrying and is looking for a surrogate to carry an embryo made from her own eggs, but the last hurdle is just too frightening for her- the idea of a donor egg in a surrogate. She'd rather adopt - an option her husband refuses to consider. I am writing about her because she is on my mind alot. I so want her to carry a baby that I keep praying this doctor has some explanation but I wonder how much more of this she can do. So, I recognize that though my journey was long, I am one very very lucky woman....and mother.

Besides that, life here is great. My baby is beautiful and funny and very sweet. We are enjoying every minute. I'll update on my progress in my next post.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cloth diapers, by request



First let me say that I love our cloth diapers. I love the big tushy they give Teagan and how cute and colorful they are. In comparison, disposables look like toilet paper to me. I didn't really anticipate that I would feel that way, but there it is. So, I am starting with a pic of Teagan in her light green bum genius one size diapers.


Okay, as far as the cloth diapering experience in general, I'll start there. First I went with one size diapers that adjust via snap (bum genius) or elastic (fuzzi bunz) as your child gets bigger. As a result, I had to use disposables until my daughter got to about 9 lbs, which was a while for us since she was born just under 7 lbs. Once we started, things went well. Both kinds of diapers have small inserts for when your baby is little and big inserts for when they grow, so we started little. Initially, I was doing a load of laundry a day, but after about a month, that went to one every other day (I have about 25 diapers). Note: I change her ALOT, probably more than most because I tend to hate the idea of wet soggy bottoms but most people say this many diapers can get you through 2 days at least before you need to wash.
Things to be aware of with cloth diapering: you want to buy good detergent that won't damage them. My favorite is Country Save which I buy online in boxes of 4. Its cheap, safe for the environment and very very mild. Also, if you are going to cloth diaper, don't buy traditional diaper creams. You can only use them if you put a liner between the cream and the diaper, instead, I've used Grandma El's diaper remedy, which I love. In fact, I haven't had to use any at all since the very beginning when Teagan was allergic to the first detergent I used. Since then, not a single rash until this awful yeast one from the formula. Also, be aware that cloth diapers (whichever kind you choose) are bigger than modern disposables so you may want to buy bottoms slightly bigger than tops when you buy clothes (I worried about this because I didn't realize it until much later but we honestly haven't had much of a problem since baby clothes are usually so stretchy, the only problems I've had are with non-stretchy materials, which I think I have 2 or 3 bottoms of).


Here is my experience: I really like the Bum Genius diapers we bought. My husband is willing to use them, the daycare at the YMCA is willing to use them and they don't need a lot of explaining if I have to leave her with my mom. They work exactly like a disposable, with velcro and all. There have only been a few leaks and they were mainly caused by Teagan growing out of the newborn inserts and mommy refusing to believe it, so hanging on to the little inserts against her better judgement. As soon as I changed to the regular inserts (which snap up to be made smaller with the smaller size), the leaks stopped. The colors are great. Her giant tushy is so cute. There is, however, one drawback...the velcro. The very thing that makes these so convenient is the very thing that concerns me in terms of longevity. So far, I've followed the rules and they are hanging in there, but one of the main selling points to my husband was that cloth diapering saves a lot of money, so the idea was to have these work through potty training. I am skeptical that they will. I might be proven wrong, but I'm still skeptical. Velcro just isn't that long lasting. But its so darn convenient! Anyway, if this is a concern for you, look into the fuzzi bunz diapers (I have a few and LOVE THEM, maybe equal to, maybe better than the bu.m genius), which are snap closure or look into the new bum genius snap diapers.


Other concerns - with the All-In-One (AIO) diapers, you get a water wicking liner right against your baby's tushy and the inserts are usually made of microfiber, which is super absorbent. However, if you've ever used high performance fabrics at the gym or outdoor sports, you know that these fabrics have a tendency to retain odor. It took me a while to figure it out but you need to add an extra rinse cycle at the end of your washing and then once a month or so add a little (less than 1/4 cup) of bleach to the hot cycle (this is actually recommended by the makers of bum genius, on their website). This is a problem with both brands that I use but has been fixed now that I'm cognizant of the issue.
Also, don't waste money on an expensive diaper pail. Buy a cheap one with a few diaper pail wetbags (I use ones by planetwise that are great). When it is time to wash, I just pop the bag inside out into the washer, throw the bag in with it and clean it all...as a result, I have 2 of these wetbags (which are apptly named, I guess, though you don't need to put any detergent, deodorant or water or anything in with the diapers so they aren't wet from THAT or anything).

I also have a few prefold diapers that I use mostly as burp cloths but when I want to air teagan's tushy out (like the last few days with this yeast rash), I've been using them without a cover for breathability. They are handy for that but I know hubby would never use these and they aren't nearly as absorbent and the minute they get even a drop wet, Teagan lets me know (also handy for the yeast thing, but overwhelming regularly I am sure).


Last, I've used homemade cloth diapers that someone gave me that have a snap closure, are very absorbent and have an insert that snaps directly against the bottom (the all-in-ones you have to stuff the insert into the diaper and under the liner, these just snap in on top of the diaper and against your baby's tush). I didn't love them. They seemed to leak a lot but that was probably this particular one (which seems popular here, I happened to have one it in the baby expo grand prize thing).


I hope this was informative. I get the feeling I've left a TON out of what I intended but I started the post, ran to the gym, and then finished it, so I absolutely lost my train of thought. If anyone who uses other brands wants to chime in, please comment. I can only speak of the ones I've used. Overall, I love the diapers I have. So far, they have definitely hung in there and have been amazingly easy to use. I've heard that they have lasted through one child to over 2 years and then were used with a second child, so I'm probably being unusually harsh on the velcro and I will be nicely surprised but I didn't want to steer anyone wrong.




Quick update. Cloth diapering next post!

I just have time for a quick update but by tonight/tomorrow I'll post about my cloth diapering experiences. I've been meaning to, but have been so caught up in all my drama.

Teagan had her doctor's appointment yesterday. She is 50% for height, 50% for weight and 50% for head circumference. They said she was "perfect" and I said, "perfectly average!!!". Its a very good thing. The rash is a yeast rash and the pediatrician said it is very likely from formula. Some formulas have too much sugar or yeast in them that then goes out in your baby's poo, hits the diaper, hits your baby's tushy and there is your yeast rash. We, as a result, switched back to our original formula (I started with Ea.rth's Best and then switched to Bab.y's On.ly on recommendation from friends, which is when the rash started). I finally gave up on my guilt over stopping breastfeeding since she is at the 6 month mark, it would likely take me a few weeks to build up supply again and, by then, I'll want to start weaning in a few short weeks anyway.

Brett and I talked it over. It seems that just when I panicked about the breastfeeding thing as a result of the rash, he panicked about the rash and then we both panicked about how much money a cycle this fall will cost and how we'll have to live on a MAJOR budget for the next year or two just to get out of the debt of a cycle. BUT, here's the catch....a few month's won't make too much of a difference in the grand scheme of things and waiting a year or two to cycle can definitely mean no more children - no siblings for Teagan, which was the whole point of this. I wish we could just look at each other and get pregnant like others do, but we can't. A lot of people have suggested we go back to my old RE here because he is SOOOOO cheap and make him do the meds the way I want but, honestly, I have ONE MORE cycle in me (if that). I refuse to go through endless more IVF's trying for a sibling and hear "Perseverence!!!!!" from him one more time. So, the end result, if all goes well with AF coming on time, etc, we may still cycle this fall.....if not, I will at least get the ODWU done by November so that we'd cycle in January/early Feb. Either way, we get to use that flexible spending money and I can stop losing sleep over that.

Last night we researched financing options, scared ourselves silly, tightened our already painfully tight belts, and decided we were just going to do it. So, we play it by ear. I feel better about this though still nervous about how much debt we are going to get into, but we'll just have to be careful and knowing this is it-the last time we will be spending this kind of money-makes me feel a little better. Hopefully, we get at least one good embryo.

So, I will start a post with all the stuff I want to say about the cloth diapers we chose, the other random cloth diapers I've tried and tricks that seem simple but are life saving when you are figuring things out.

Monday, August 9, 2010

panic over, now just annoyed

Thamk you all for your comments! (and for not saying I am being overly dramatic!!!!). I seem to be feeling very overwhelmed lately and it may be from hormones or from the incredible stress from stopping breastfeeding (and its not like I don't know stressful, law school graduate, worked with judges, um, 7 IVFs!, had both fiance and brother fighting a war in Iraq at the same time, etc....this was still very very stressful). Anyway, the end result...it is a no-go on restarting the milk supply. I thought I was in the clear because when I decided to restart, I immediately pumped 5 oz, so I thought that would restart it and it wouldn't be that bad. But, my breasts never refilled with milk. I can start the process of "relactation" but I don't think I have the committment anymore...basically, I'd have to have Teagan on the breast constantly (even though she'd get no milk, frustrating!), be constantly pumping and taking herbs and all of this would have to go on for weeks before it was likely I'd even see any milk. So, the end result, I have to put off the cycle for financial reasons and work convenience reasons even though I had to stop breastfeeding early. I am kind of upset.

When I was stopping breastfeeding, Brett and I sat down to discuss whether a cycle this fall was really possible. We said it totally was, or we'd make it possible. We both agreed I had to stop breastfeeding. The pain ensued, but I did it. Now, my poor little girl has what appears to be a yeast rash on her tushy, I can't breastfeed her anymore, and I'm not cycling anyway. All of a sudden, we just can't do the cycle this fall.

Anyway, I'll try to get the ODWU in before December shut-down so we don't lose the FSA money and I hope we don't postpone this even more....hopefully things work out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

bumps in the road

So, I just started trying to get my milk supply back after ALL THAT. I can't believe I am even typing this. Anyway, the first few days of breast milk/formula mixing went fine. Then we noticed a rash. The rash got worse, I tried changing formulas, the rash is still there. I did some research. She is probably showing an allergic reaction to either the milk in the formula or the soy. Either way, it may be too much for my conscience. Then, Brett came home and we discussed how stressed we are about doing a cycle this fall and how we are going to pay for it. We decided to try to push it off...which is totally conceivable, HOWEVER, we have a flexible spending account at his work with about $3k in it that we have to spend on medical expenses before the end of the year - otherwise, we lose that money. This seemed unlikely to be a problem because we were planning on the one-day workup this fall and likely a cycle as well. Now what? I am not going to let us lose that money. I thought I could call up the finance office at CCRM and discuss paying for the one day workup and bloodtests, etc before they are actually done, and they'd now likely be done in January...but I just found out from other people that the financial office didn't let them do this under similar circumstances. So, here I sit...stuck. I tried to follow our schedule and did everything in my power to move forward but I'm hitting so many snags. For now, it looks like I will try to breastfeed again for a few more months and try to make it so I can fit in that ODWU sometime just before the December shut down at CCRM. Its going to be cutting it close. Someone had a great idea of getting my meds early and paying for that with the flexible spending money but so far, that's the one thing that insurance has covered for us. Ugh, we really went about this in a stupid manner. If it weren't for that money in the account, I'd honestly be a little relieved not to worry about a trip this fall, to be able to breastfeed again and get rid of that poor rash on Teagan. But, I have no idea how to manage this.

So, I'm stressed. I'm sure its compounded by guilt about her poor red tushy and the likelihood that my hormones are nuts since I stopped breastfeeding and I think I am almost due for my first period since last April. But, if you've experienced PMS, knowing these things are making your crazy doesn't really help you deal with them.

Oh, and Teagan has her pediatrician checkup on Monday so I'll discuss the rash with him. I know he'll point me to other formula options but I don't know how I feel about the costs of that and what those other options are. I really don't want a soy based formula for her (I was allergic to soy as a child, among other reasons) and I just want to feed her something that is good for her. I know there are lots of formula options that I haven't tried but the fact that she is having reactions to the 2 that I tried (which both have milk and soy in them) is just wearing on my conscience. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This is ridiculous. Some people should not be allowed to speak in public

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen Thinks Mothers Should Be Forced to Breastfeed - Pregnancy - FOXNews.com

Okay, first, I LOVED breastfeeding. I think it is the greatest thing for baby and a great thing for mom. I am bummed that I stopped breastfeeding early but I have my reasons which no one has the right to judge. Anyway, this is kind of funny that a supermodel even has the ability to get a rise out of me because, c'mon, they aren't known for their brains. But, in the U.S., celebrity makes you an expert on everything from natural disasters, to adoption, to political and environmental concerns, to breastfeeding and motherhood. We eat up every word from vain, uneducated people and take it as law...so its no surprise this has gotten press...but such is life, right?

Anyway, whether you breastfed or not, for reasons none of any of our business, you did great by your child by feeding it as best you can...whether from breast or bottle. Ugh.

One other target of scorn this week - hospitals that don't train their staff in breastfeeding awareness. My sister in law had a baby this week and the nurses didn't seem to be very helpful in teaching her about breastfeeding and colostrum and the fact that your baby's belly is literally the size of a small marble at birth (not the big shooter marble, the little itty bitty ones) and so they don't need ounces and ounces of milk or formula. Ugh. I'm surprised...I live in a relatively small area and our nurses went around with marbles on strings around their necks in order to reiterate to breastfeeding moms that they are making enough colostrum and not to worry about the fact that your milk hasn't come in yet. Ugh. Education. Its like you are fighting an uphill battle if you decide you want to exclusively breastfeed. I did a lot of research before having Teagan and insisted that she stay with me in the room because I had read that even if you say a baby is exclusively breastfed and you send them to the nursery, hospitals have been known to feed formula or give a pacifier against mom's wishes....which is just frightening! Anyway, if you are pregnant or are likely to get pregnant (or are working on it), definitely do your own research on breastfeeding, if it is something you feel that you want to do, because the hospitals in this country do not help at all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Still improving

The breast issue is still improving. I know I should have weaned slowly from the breastfeeding, that was what I read in all the books and it is totally logical, but don't tell that to a woman who doesn't really want to stop breastfeeding, feels guilt and loss associated with it, and just wants to fill the freezer full of pumped breastmilk, lol. I kept trying to cut back on feedings but then I wanted just one more day's worth of milk in the freezer, so I kept putting it off and next thing I knew, the deadline I set for myself (last week in July) was here!!! So, internet research began and I did it fast. Going slowly over the course of a week or two when you don't want to stop feeding in the first place is pure agony.


I don't have much else to write for now. Things are going good. I am loving every minute with my baby girl and we are finally having fun again as a family. I'll leave you with a cute pic from camping this weekend. I took this picture to try to get a shot of her cute little elf ears:-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Much better...and a new family member!!!!

I am posting a lot this week because I've been feverishly researching remedies for engorgement online:-) But, I am very happy to say that things have gotten better!!! On Tuesday my breasts were going to explode - horribly painful, hard and starting to get red and hot. I got nervous about mastitis and called my doctor. They recommended all of the stuff I was already doing - Advil, Sage tea, and cabbage leaves in the bra (yes, I walked around smelling like an aging eastern European peasant!) and they told me to make an appointment for Wednesday. By Tuesday night I was getting nervous about the redness, pain and heat so I caved and pumped 2 oz only from each breast. Miraculously, it all got better...redness went away, heat stopped, and they weren't so hard. I woke up Wednesday a new woman...they didn't fill up again! So, I cancelled my appointment and have since been doing really well....they are slowly deflating, which is somewhat mortifying.


In the meantime, Teagan is doing great on a mixture of half formula and half breastmilk. I am going to try out two formulas (both incredibly similar) to see which one I like better and which one she likes better. They are Earth's Best and Baby's Only. Each of them has their own benefits so it really is up to taste and price. She doesn't mind the bottle at all but I still have a hard time sometimes when the bottle doesn't warm fast enough and she tries to root towards my breast. I have a flash of guilt and sadness...I truly can't believe how hard this has been to do. Maybe if breastfeeding was painful or I hated doing it...but I miss it so much. At least it is a consolation that Teagan doesn't seem to be all that affected by the change. Although, Brett sure is because I need his help to get the bottle warm at the 2:30 AM feedings! She does sleep well but we have a schedule so that she is asleep at 7:15 or so....so she wakes up around 2:30 to eat a bottle and then sleeps usually until the morning. Technically that is "sleeping through the night," I guess, though it doesn't feel like it!!!!


We have a new family member! Brett's sister had a baby yesterday - a little baby girl, who we are dying to meet! So, my brother and his wife had a baby boy 2 days after Teagan was born (they have 2 girls already) and Brett's sis had a baby girl about 5 months after Teagan...how great is that? 2 new cousins instantaneously! Holidays are going to be so much fun!

Also, there is a new development and I'll leave you with a picture of it. Teagan is sitting up on her own already! She kind of does things in a strange order....not linear, really. So, out of nowhere she can now sit up on her own for about 5-7 minutes and then it is Timber!!!! So...here are some pics...




Swimming with mommy in the lake up the road...



What is this??? She actually tried to taste it and Brett had to quickly move her little head away from the water:-)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Quick update on weaning

This is so hard! I mean, emotionally it is hard and physcially, OUCH. I recommend that if anyone else has to wean before their child makes it to eating lots of solid foods and drinking real milk, do it very slowly and progressively. My breasts are rock hard, huge, and gnarly. I can barely pick up my daughter and hold her (she has to be held in the middle, between the two boulders!). Oh, and keep in mind that I've usually been only a 34A, sometimes B. We are on E right now and working up!

Teagan is eating the bottles well. We are on half formula (Earth's Best) and half breastmilk. I am still doing 2-3 feedings a day and, in between, if my breasts get too full, I pump an ounce here and there to relieve the pressure. This isn't working great. So, today I think I am starting sudafed. There is finally a study out there that sudafed decreases your supply by 20%. Not much, but there it is. I hate taking meds but this is a special case as far as I am concerned. I may actually be done breastfeeding for good and only do the pumping of a single ounce here and there to relieve pressure so that I can end this agony. It is like prolonging the emotional and physical pain but part of me just doesn't want to stop. First of all, never underestimate the "feel good" hormones from nursing...if you stop nursing fast, you will seriously feel the lack of those hormones (though before trying to stop, I had no idea they were there). Its amazing. Then there is the fact that you get used to the closeness of nursing and how good it feels to be that food source for your baby. Even with that, I have to giggle at the faces Teagan makes when she is hungry and I start pulling up my shirt. I am going to miss those open mouth, tongue sticking out, scrunched-up-nose attacks! Even Brett had to laugh when he witnessed one this morning!

Oh well...there it is.

Also - Mrs. Last Chance, I have a friend who adopted an infant and took the hormones to start lactation and successfully breastfed her adopted son for a year. I'm not sure if that is something you want to do. I don't know if I'd do it. I just wanted to throw it out there as something that could be possible, if you are interested in it.

Oh, and did I mention how lazy I am and how much easier and more convenient breastfeeding is? The bottles! the mixing of formula! the thawing of breastmilk. Ugh. Its a job in itself!!!!!

Okay, I'll update soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weaning advice?

I am trying to start weaning Teagan off of breastfeeding and it is KILLING me. I feel horribly guilty, mean, selfish, etc...but the truth is, if I was being selfish, I wouldn't be weaning her yet. I know that in my heart...b/c I want to keep feeding her breastmilk. I want that bond. Just thinking about it hurts. However, I also need to try for a sibling for her ASAP. I need to keep that momentum going and hopefully get a few good embryos this fall and then never have to think about it again. I love having a brother. We've had some problems in the last few years but we were inseperable growing up and had great times during our college years. Its just nice to have that sibling to be close to. When your parents are old or pass away, you have family and, hopefully, extended family. I very much want to give this to my daughter. And, so I started cutting down feedings a little. First I cut out those extra pumping sessions last week. Now I am starting to feed some of the frozen breastmilk to her and cutting out 2 more feedings a day but, by the end of this week, I need to stop entirely. So, today, I just gave her her first taste of something other than breastmilk, organic formula. She had 1 ounce of organic formula mixed in with 3 ounces of breastmilk, and she did great. I felt awful. Its hard to explain...goes straight to my self-image - but she ate it like a champ. I have 384 ounces of frozen breastmilk that I will continue to give her but I needed to make sure she'd do ok with formula before I started the process of really drying up my milk. If she does fine, we'll continue to supplement and then I'll start her on rice cereal next week or avocados or banana...we'll see (one at a time per week).

Now, regardless of my odd self-image or my crazy need to continue breastfeeding, I am committed to drying up by August...if you've weaned children from the breast, do you have any advice? I've heard someone mention sudafed....did it help you? I didn't pump last night and took an advil and went to bed. I woke up at 2 am with very painful, hard breasts but just took another advil...but then I caved this morning and pumped 10 oz! Now that I know she doesn't spit out anything with formula in it, I can start to try in earnest....

This is a super fast post since I am running out the door, but you all out there in blogland have been so helpful in the past, I was hoping someone would have some great advice. Also know this, I am not at all bashing people who have formula fed from the beginning or weaned much earlier AT ALL. I was exclusivly formula fed and am happy, healthy and well-adjusted. Breastfeeding was just a personal choice to me and I worked very hard at it in the beginning to get past serious pain and have learned to really love it. So, in addition to the emotional side of it where I am really struggling, I have no idea how to handle the physical side!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In case you wondered...

What camping with 3 dogs and a 4 month old looked like, stay tuned. Brett and I bought a used and slightly beat up pop-up camper a few weeks ago, put some TLC in...and then we attempted a one night camping event last weekend. It went wonderful. We kept Teagan's nighttime routine and before you knew it she was snoring away happily (until 2 am when she got up hungry, ate, and then fell back asleep until 6 am!). Although, it was a little chaotic and will take some time to get used to, lol. I bet it really looks chaotic, huh?




Thunderclouds behind our house on Monday night. These supposedly caused a small tornado just north of us...tornadoes in upstate NY, seriously?

One last attempt to put up that video: clearly didn't work, though fb had no problems with it. Ugh. Oh well...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

videos and Anne spelled with an "e"

I thought I'd start off with a video of Teagan I took this week. It looks a little ghetto but only because it was taken first thing in the morning. She is still in her little tshirt and diaper (her PJs)and you can actually hear the breastpump in the background so you know what I was doing, lol.
Okay, so video is having some problems...I'll try to get it up later. In the meantime, here are some pics...and a weird rambling book recommendation for kids!

Daddy's little beauty...





My pretty girl:

I don't have the heart to leave these headbands on her for long, I'm too much of a tomboy for that, but I think she looks so cute with the little flower once in a while. The tshirt says "Stop Global Warming, Drive a Stroller"!!!!



I don't seem to have a lot of time for writing lately, which is great b/c its for good reason. I also don't have a lot of time for reading but sometimes get it done when I am breastfeeding and trying not to look at Teagan (if I look at her she stops eating to smile at me and then feeding takes forever, because it makes me laugh, so she laughs, she goes back to feeding and again, smiles at me when I look at her and it starts over). I picked up an old favorite. Way back when I was just 10 or 11 years old, my Great Aunt Dot gave me a book to read that I fell in love with. To this day, it is still one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite, Anne of Green Gables. I haven't read it in years and going back to it, realize that I took a lot of life's lessons from the book and am so thankful to my aunt for giving me a love of reading, but also the gift of a book that would teach me a lot about life, when I wasn't getting that learning from my parents. It is lighthearted, sweet, idealistic, basically everything my parents weren't. To this day, my mom calls me Pollyana and I never understood how I could have a positive outlook on life when my parents aren't positive at all...and going back to this book, I realized it must have come at a pivotal time when I was just shaping my view of life and this was so helpful. I guess I just wanted to say that if you have a 10 or 11 year old girl in your life, this book might be a great choice for her. Of course, Aunt Dot was so thrilled that I loved reading after this that she then got me to read Rebecca, The Thorn Birds (weird choice, right?), and 84 Charing Cross Road. I am still in debt to her, even though some of these choices were weird...I still remember her sister, my Aunt Lorraine saying, "you gave her the THORN BIRDS??? Do you think she's old enough?" lol...but they definitely helped me grow and broadened my perspective. I miss Aunt Dot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The plan and an anniversary

Thursday was our anniversary of 4 years. We didn't really have much planned but it all kind of fell apart anyway, which is absolutely fine:-) Brett had to work late so we decided to pretend our anniversary was Saturday instead of Thursday. But we forgot that we had a 1 year birthday party for our neighbor's beautiful little boy....so we changed that to Sunday. It seemed like a good idea. We had a great time at Josh's birthday. On Sunday we woke up early (what else is new with a 4 month old in the house?), I got Teagan out of her room and put her in bed with us to nurse her and then try to nap again...we all napped until about 7:30. Brett realized that he left the anniversary card at work (we said no gifts this year) so I kept mine hidden too...but we had breakfast and got ready for church, then the mall to exchange some baby clothes, then home and then finally we decided to go out to dinner and "celebrate". Well, we went out to the Bonefish Grill (great GF menu!). However, halfway through dinner, Teagan got fussy...and then 3/4 of the way through dinner, I started feeling my belly making bad movements and noises. I know this had nothing to do with the restaurant b/c I had felt iffy all day...but it all came to fruition when we were out to eat (but they are one of the only restaurants that has GF dessert!!!!). We had to leave. I was sick all night Sunday and most of yesterday. So, the anniversary was kind of a bust, but it was also one of the best b/c this year there is finally 3 of us and 3 dogs...how wonerful is that?

Now, on to the plan. I had my phone consult with my RE on Friday. I am going to breastfeed until the end of July. In the meantime, I am pumping extra and freezing it daily, hoping to extend her time on breastmilk to 6 months. I would LOVE to keep breastfeeding to a year but we all know my eggs were crap at 34 so I'm not anticipating them being much better at 36. (as a side note, the idea of stopping breastfeeding is KILLING me and I am trying to work through this process in advance so that it isn't so hard later. I can't really explain why it is so hard...and maybe it would be hard to stop ever, but it is so stressful! I think I just like being the source of her food....weird. Plus, it is funny when she stares at my boobs and opens her mouth, sticking her little tongue out like a hungry baby bird!). Okay....when I stop breastfeeding, I will hopefully get my period back within a month (this year sans AF has been nice). As soon as I get that period, I can call my nurse to send me the bloodwork kit from their clinic so that when AF #2 comes around I can go for my CD3 bloodwork locally. Then I pack it up for a day and travel to Colorado for my one day workup again...a hysteroscopy, resting follicle count, maybe doppler and some bloodwork again. I'm hoping to be able to do that in one day and travel home ASAP b/c I'll be leaving Brett alone with Teagan and hoping he can get off work. As soon as that is done, I will be good to go for an ER cycle with my third AF. That puts us around late October or November. We'll do an ER, same meds and protocol since it worked. Then I can rest. Supposedly we will do MA this time because the results are coming back faster than CGH...but we aren't rushing the transfer, its the ER that I was rushing. We'll likely transfer sometime in late Feb or March the earliest, if we are lucky enough to get some good embryos. If not, we are just done. And broke. Even worse, in debt. But, we have to give it one more shot.

So, that is it. Nothing too exciting. I don't want to go on for hours about my neurosis regarding stopping breastfeeding because that's annoying. I'm also not going to go on for hours on how much I like BFing. I also will probably talk in future about how doing all of this again makes me a little nervous, but for now, I'm just going with it. We aren't lucky enough to just get accidentally pregnant and no amount of waiting around for a miracle is going to help...so just get up and get back on the horse. There is that old story that a man is up on top of a house during a very bad flood and he is waiting for God to help him. A man comes by in a rowboat and offers to take him away and he says "no thanks, God will save me". Later, a rescue helicopter comes by and he says again "no thanks, God will save me" and he dies on the roof in the flood b/c God tried to save him twice by sending help but he was too stupid to realize it. So, CCRM is the rescue helicopter for us...we better hop on and get going, right?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not much to say lately

I don't have much to say lately. Life has gotten very busy. My family is still crazy. Brett and I and Teagan are all very happy (but the little one sure had a bad cold this past weekend!!! I think she is just starting to feel better today). I have thought about closing up my blog. I'm not sure. But, I warned one day months ago that my blog was going to go from a fertility blog to a mommie blog and likely back to a fertility blog...and so it will. I am meeting with my RE on Friday to discuss a future cycle for siblings. We aren't sure it will work. We still have months to go but I need to plan it so that I keep the momentum moving forward. We feel incredibly blessed to have our little girl and will be forever grateful for that...but Brett and I both have siblings and, if possible, we'd like for Teagan to have a sibling as well. If it is not possible, then we tried (and went bankrupt in the process probably), but at least we tried. So, the plan so far is that I will breastfeed for another month and a half...stopping sometime in July. I'm pumping and freezing now so that I can try to continue to give her breast milk for as long as possible. I know that stopping will be very hard for me...but that is the plan. I have to wait 3 months from stopping breastfeeding to start a cycle. So, we think we'll have a retrieval cycle sometime in late October or November, hopefully. It is so hard to plan really. I mean, if I thought travelling to cycle by myself was hard, now imagine it with a 9 month old. But, I am also almost 36 and, to be honest, my eggs clearly weren't wonderful at 34, so the sooner we do this the better.

As you can tell, I am a little 'all-over-the-place' with this. I will definitely know more on Friday. I am actually even nervous just about the idea of a phone consult. OMG, are we starting this all again? There is a part of me that would love to just not do it. Just say this is it. But that part is definitely getting buried under the other part of me that would have a big family if it were possible, you know? I would seriously look forward to more children but I am still scared. Even though we are going to do the same thing we did last time, I could still get a BFN, or I could get no normals or have no eggs make it to day 5...I don't think that will happen, but it might. I just have to be positive and throw myself into this craziness again. One thing I know...it will never have the same significance to me as all of those prior cycles. I mean, yes, I feel very sorry for those suffering from secondary infertility - I am sure it is terribly painful to want more children and be denied them. It is probably confusing as well. But, it will never compare to never being able to get pregnant in the first place. Even going into this now, I know that I will want another child terribly but my entire world won't crash if it isn't possible. I have a beautiful, loving, funny little baby girl at home that is all mine. My heart still breaks for everyone who I journeyed with through IF who is still chugging along or seeking out other avenues to parenthood. The amount of pain they have had to go through and the amount of times they've had to dust off and get back up...it just isn't fair. So, I know I am finally lucky...and maybe I am trying to push that luck? I guess we'll see.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quick pics and a video

Teagan is sitting up in her bumpo chair:







Her baptism on her 3 month birthday!!! (stories to follow!)







Teagan rolling over in tummy time!!!!



video

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just plain scary!!!

A friend posted this article on Facebook. It freaked me out. Here I am avoiding all kinds of things for the safety of my baby and myself...and I had no idea. I thought I'd share:

http://blog.saferchemicals.org/2010/05/some-bisphenol-a-with-your-green-beans.html

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day...early or delayed

My first mother's day was great...if only for the fact that this year I got to relish being a mommy. In the past, I haven't really focused on mother's day. It wasn't one of those days that really bothered me in terms of being infertile. I was much more stressed on days like Christmas (no young kids for santa!) and Easter (easter egg hunts!) and even my birthday (getting older and no kids), but mother's day wasn't even a blip. However, this year was really great, even if the day itself was a disaster! We woke up to snow. Yes, that's right. Not just flurries...full on snow with about a half inch on the ground. The funny thing is that every spring as people here start getting excited about the nice, warm, sunny days you constantly hear a chant of "don't get too excited, its snowed on Mother's Day before". I mean, it is beaten into your brain in the spring. And, well, there it was! Brett works for the utility so the snow, combined with lots of wind since Saturday, meant he worked Saturday afternoon into late night, early Sunday morning and all the way to noon...then at about 4pm he had to get in the car and drive a few states over for a business trip (that the corporate jet was overbooked for, thus the 5 hours driving). So, Mothers day for me was waking up early with Teagan but bringing her into our bed to snuggle (which was great), getting 2 beautiful cards, waiting for Brett while he was on a conference call, cancelling breakfast for that reason, making myself pancakes, getting to church and then some lunch, shoe shopping and waving goodbye to Brett. There was also a brief visit with my mom to drop off a gift. This may sound bitchy that I didn't do something more for my mom...but I asked her if we could take her out to breakfast before church and she said "no" and then when I told her I wanted to give her her gift, she got snotty and asked why I even got her anything...so I didn't do anything special. Ugh. Anyway....

Brett made my weekend great anyway. He knew there was likely to be storms all weekend so on Friday, I received a beautiful pink bouquet of roses from Teagan:-) He then took me out for sushi that night where our favorite sushi chef gave Teagan a free t-shirt! We got home where we had champagn and strawberry thingys (that I'll post the recipe for -yum!) and he gave me a gift of a bluetooth capable garmin (to save my and Teagan's life since I can finally be hands-free!). On Sunday I got two beautiful cards - one from Brett and one from Teagan:-) It was a wonderful weekend. Yet, my heart still ached for my good friends going throug infertility. A very good friend of mine for years now is doing her NINTH cycle this summer. Yes, 9!!!! I so badly want this for her and I thought about her constantly this weekend. Also , my mom kind of ruined things...but that is the usual, right?

So, I have to post this recipe...I kind of mix it up a bit since I had these at a dinner party last year and the woman who made them just told me what was in them, not how to mix it up...but they came out great..


Strawberry Cheesecake thingys

Strawberries
package of cream cheese (room temp)
3 Tbs confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cut the tops off and core the strawberries. In a mixer blend cream cheese and sugar and vanilla until mixed well. Put in a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off. Fill the strawberries. Thats it! You can dip them in graham cracker crumbs or add almonds or something but it is totally unnecessary.


I'll have pics and stuff soon. Life is busy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bad blogger

I have a ton of stuff to write. I have recipes to post...great gluten free ones! I have stories to tell and things to share! But, I have no time. Hopefully later in the week I will post some of these interesting things. In the meantime, some cute pics:
I love this outfit: It says "sometimes stinky, always sweet!" on it.


A smile...and yes I sometimes put bows on her head;-)


Check out the dimples!!!

A little early for football season, but you need to get them started young!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter, cloth diapers, and product endorsements (!?!)

Easter was great. My mother in law bought Teagan a beautiful little dress and little shoes to match with a cute little pink sweater. She looked beautiful. And, she was wonderful at church. We arrived at church just a few minutes before it started to be confronted by a very full church! We wiggled our way in, lamenting the fact that we couldn't get an end seat in case Teagan decides to wake up and get loud (which is sometimes the case in church, but is rare). Then I spotted all of the pretty bells that people had brought to ring during the Allelujahs and had a panic attack...I totally forgot about the bell ringing. I noticed Brett looking at the bells too...the music started...the bells were rung (loudly and without rythm mostly by kids, lol) and Teagan slept through the whole thing!!! It was wonderful. She woke up a few times to make little grunting noises but then back to nap time!!!

The pink bow is meant to camouflage the St. Francis haircut Teagan is currently sporting. Basically, she is losing her hair is a male-pattern-baldness fashion and looks like the cutest little George Costanza!!!!







After the service, we changed her into a cute little "baby's first easter" outfit that Brett's boss gave us a few weeks ago...it was a "0-3 months" size so still a little big, but it was so cute. It had little bunny feet and a cotton tail on the back!

(Ignore me in the pic, I've lost all the baby weight but now have to work on that IF weight but have also been afraid to lose it too fast in case I lose my milk supply...)



I know I had some people ask about the cloth diapering. I am loving the B.umgeni.us diapers! We had a few bumps on the road though.First, I was using Charlie's soap, which is recommended for cloth diapers and it was doing wonders keeping them shining white...but I think it was giving Teagan a little bit of a rash. After doing some research, I noticed that there were a few complaints about some infants being sensitive to it...so I changed to something called Country Save detergent...and it is heaven. It is pretty cheap and gets them nice and clean and there is no rash at all. Then, cloth diapers are not compatible with most diaper rash creams because the cream impacts the absorbability of the fabrics, so I was using des.itin and a gDiaper (which I had a few boxes of around the house...not a fan, but that is a story for another time, if anyone is interested). Finally I did some research and found out about a diaper rash product called Grandma El's...it is awesome and totally cloth diaper friendly. Her rash cleared up in no time and she is a happy little baby now:-) The cleaning process I follow is from the diaper manufacturer's recommendation and in total, the cloth diapering adds maybe 15 minutes to my day between throwing them in the wash, doing an extra wash and rinse and then hanging the diapers on a drying rack, throwing the inserts in the dryer and then after they dry, putting them together and on the shelf. Overall, I love them and find them even easier than disposables! Plus, Teagan looks so cute with her huge diaper butt!!! Oh, and if anyone is considering this diaper system, I recommend buying the Planet.wise large wet bags that fit in a diaper pail. I bought a cheap First Years diaper pail ($10, I think at BRU) that has a little lid that fits a deodorizer in it and then I fill the bin with the wet bag and when it is full of dirty diapers, I just grab the liner, flip it inside out into the washer and throw it in with the diapers...and its done. I have two so that one is in the bin while the other is being washed and dried. These were on recommendation from someone else and have been a life saver.

Also a necessary that I can't sing the praises enough for (for all you girls who are finally happily blissfully preggo and buying baby stuff like crazy:-)) is something called an itzbeen timer. I got mine from a friend who said it was invaluable. It is, especially if you are breastfeeding since you have to get up every 3 hours at night in the first few weeks to feed...it is an automatic timer that tells you how long it has been since you last fed, or diapered, or etc...I use it mainly just for the feeding schedule and I've been using it less and less lately, but it is an amazingly useful thing! It even has a little dial on the bottom for you to switch to which breast you fed her from last...and don't underestimate the usefulness of that since I can NEVER remember which boob was emptied last and spend countless minutes staring at my cleavage trying to figure out which boob looks bigger or feels more full, lol. So, use this and you won't do what I've done (when I forget to mark it on the timer...which is a lot lately since I'm trying to phase it out). Carol- if you read this, don't buy one for A. since I think we already have plans for this:-)